As expert family lawyers in Perth and Joondalup, we are in a unique position to answer various FAQs regarding family law.
Do all family law matters have to go to court?
There are a range of options for resolving disputes including Mediation, Negotiation and Collaborative Law. Anecdotal evidence suggests that of those cases that proceed to court 95% settle without the need for a final hearing.
Do I need a family lawyer?
We recognise that this may be a very stressful time in your life and our lawyers are well equipped to provide you with constructive guidance. We recommend that you have the benefit of meeting with one of our lawyers for at least a one-off consultation. By meeting with a family lawyer at our Perth law firm, you will be provided with practical advice to help you navigate your way through your legal issues.
What time limits apply in family law matters?
If you are or were married, you must apply to the Family Court for property settlement and or spousal maintenance within 12 months of the date your divorce order takes effect.
If you are or were in a de facto relationship, you must apply to the Family Court for a property settlement and or spousal maintenance within two years of the date you separated.
Subject to the requirement to participate in Family Dispute Resolution there is no time limit in relation to when you can make an application to the Family Court in relation to children’s issues.
How long will it take to resolve my matter?
In the event you are unable to reach an agreement and it becomes necessary to commence proceedings, the Family Court of Western Australia estimates that matters will take approximately 2 to 2½ years to reach a final hearing.
What can I expect my costs to be?
Once we have had an opportunity to assess your matter we will provide you with an estimate of the likely range of fees. In the event your matter proceeds to Court we are obliged to provide you with cost notifications at various stages of the process.
What can you do?
One of the major concerns voiced by clients is the cost of litigation. We are often asked by our clients what they can do themselves to keep costs down.
If you are considering making an appointment with divorce lawyers in Perth, there are a number of things you can prepare that can save us time and you money.
For the first appointment:
You should ensure that you have the following information available to provide your family lawyer:
- Full name, address and date(s) of birth of you, the other party and any children
- Date you began living together
- Date of marriage
- Place of marriage
- Date of separation
- The living arrangements of your children (if applicable)
- Details of your assets and liabilities, including superannuation (owned solely and jointly)
You should endeavour to bring the following documents with you:
- Your marriage certificate
- Birth certificates for the children (if applicable)
- Any previous court documentation, especially court orders
- Any letters or documents from your former partner or their solicitor
Don’t worry if you can’t provide the information or you don’t have access to the documents. We will be able to help you obtain these details and get the documents we need to properly advise you.